In his first version of the Statutes of the Congrégation de la Jeunesse Chrétienne, written in 1813, Eugene defined its main purpose in the city of Aix:

To form a body of very pious young people in the city,

who by their example, their advice and their prayer

will make a contribution to curbing the license and general apostasy which every day makes frightening increases

while at the same time working effectively to achieve their own sanctification.

“Règlements et Statuts de la Congrégation de la Jeunesse chrétienne établie a Aix par l’Abbé de Mazenod au commencement de l’année 1813. Premier Règlement,” in Missions 145 (1899), p. 19.

They were to become a united and living cell which would influence their companions in the city who did not have a clear set of beliefs in their lives and were living in a state of godlessness. Clearly the members of the Youth Congregation had to be in relationship with God themselves and have a sense of direction in their own lives, before they could share this with others.

The main means they were to use to influence their peers were threefold:

  • a lifestyle that would be attractive and meaningful to others,
  • availability to listen to their peers and to share advice and assistance,
  • and a life lived in relationship with God.

 “If youth is the season of hope, it is often so only in the sense that our elders are hopeful about us.” (Anonymous)

This entry was posted in RULE and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. These reflections about Youth and Oblate presence and ministry is so important. As we prepare in a less than two years for the 200 Anniversary of the this first community that Eugene call forth, where do we stand?
    Today is now so, we become what were reflect upon, we mirror that which we are present to. So if we are in the presence of life and hope that is what comes forth. And what better group to be with that embodies this but the young. They may be our children or grandchildren our nephews or nieces, they could be in the parish or ministry site or simply our neighbors. All we need is to ask those three last questions.

    1. is our lifestyle attractive and meaningful to others? is our community life visible?
    2. are we available to listen and to share advice and assistance? also are we able to learn from them-life and ministry is a two way street!
    3. are our lives lived in relationship with God? Are we women and men of pray?

    these question are apt for all seasons, Blessings, simply your brother, Jack,omi

  2. John Mouck says:

    I read this early this morning before the 10:30 mass that I attend and it made me wonder. At mass I couldn’t help but ponder it even more.
    It occurred to me that our time now is not unlike Eugene’s time…the church was maybe 1/2 full (which is typical for the last year or so) and it used to be packed. Of that meagre congregation, older teens and young adults were blatantly lacking. The Church is not only failing people in general, it is totally not relating to and attracting young adults. It is becoming an ageing, dying population of stagnant die-hards.

    What am I doing to correct this situation? At present, nothing.
    I am looking for guidance, a role model that I can emulate. I haven’t found one.

    We meditate. We pray. We talk. I haven’t seen any actual action.
    Tell me so I know how to begin – what do you do?

    Jack, you ask, “Is our community life visible?” I brought that up at our last formation meeting and the idea was totally put down.

    I need help and direction from some one, anyone, everyone.

    Praying for myself and us,

  3. Dave Morgan says:

    Ironically, I have just been handed an opportunity to encourage the formation of a Squires youth group here in Arnprior. Squires is the youth group of the Knights of Columbus for boys aged 8 to 18. It is a leadership development program that teaches youth how to be of service to others by developing their talents and leadership skills, under the watchful eyes of expereienced K of C Councelors. There is nothing more moving to me than to see young people come together for prayer, ask God for something and then thank Him.

    • John Mouck says:

      Koodos to you Dave. What an awesome opportunity… scary but exciting.
      I’m sure Eugene will be right beside you smiling and making sure The Spirit helps you make this endeavour a huge success.
      Some of our young men are pretty sharp. I’m guessing you may learn as much from their ideas and opinions as you share with them.

      I’ll keep you in my prayers,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *